Father’s Day Frame ( updated with iphone)

Blackberry Picture
Frame

My son is rather smitten with my husband’s blackberry. When he pretends to be his dad he goes to the front hall, grabs the blackberry, a pretend coffee mug and tells us he’s off to the office. It was only fitting to try to do some father’s day craft with that as the inspirations. Here is what we came up with.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of foam(one black one white, paper will do but foam will look better), a fine tip marker, scissors some tin foil, glue, magnets or magnetic strips and a picture.
  2. Start by writing out the alphabet or you can write out “Happy Father’s Day” remember to make each letter individual so it looks like a keyboard. I didn’t bother because I knew my son would not be able to put it in order and I wanted him to do it since he loves to glue.
  3. Cut the letters out. If your child is too young for tiny pieces, do 3 rows of keys instead of cutting each out.
  4. Make a space bar and cut out.
  5. I tapes off the upper half of the black foam so that my son had a physical line not to cross with the glue.
  6. Glue the letters on. With little guys you can spread the glue, it doesn’t dry completely clear there will be a reflection so if your child is able to carefully put glue under each key , try. If not it’s no biggie!
  7. While they do that cut a frame from the other piece of foam. Mine is black but I should have done it with the white, I have 2/3 of a sheet left over after the letters.
  8. Cover it with the tin foil. The best way is to put the foil over the frame, then cut out the middle, leaving some extra to squeeze around the frame. This was actually sorta tricky, I got all consumed by this and my son was gluing his hands together .Ooops.
  9. Take off the tape when your child is done gluing and glue their picture on.
  10. Add the foil frame- use lots of glue for this.
  11. Let dry
  12. Add some magnetic strips or my favorite use those free marketing magnets companies send you!

Song!


I love my daddy
He’s really smart
He’s got big muscles and a bigger heart
When I get all cranky and I pout
He gives me hugs and never shouts!

Books!

“This Is The Van That Dad Cleaned” by Lisa Campbell Ernst gave me a good chuckle, I only have one child and my car seems to multiply sippy cups, cheddar bunny crumbs and a mess on it’s own! This book is about a dad with a van, a clean van and 3 kids who ruin that very quickly. The siblings act like siblings teasing and fighting while making a growing mess in their poor dad’s clean van. The book is a poem that keeps growing and growing like the mess. In the end the kids are the ones that clean up the mess and I like that, in our house like the book even the baby helps clean up.


“Molly and her Dad” by Jan Ormerod was a great find. Molly doesn’t see her dad often because he lives a plane ride away and when he comes to take care of her things aren’t perfect at first. There are so many little things about this book I like. I like that there are details like baby photos of Molly and both her parents together, I like that Molly tells her dad how he is doing things wrong and doesn’t warm up to him immediately and I like how he doesn’t get mad. I think this is a pretty realistic portrayal of children’s emotions when spending time with a parent they don’t see often but still have a great relationship with.

** As promised I have re worked this craft for the iphone… here it is!

Here is a quick how to :

1. Cut some black foam into a rounded rectangle.


2. Using silver sticky back foam cut into small strips.

3.Press the strips onto the edges of he black foam.

4. Cut a piece of white foam and draw lines on the ends, color them blue. Glue on.

5.Cut a small circle and tiny rectangle out of the silver sticky back foam and stick on.

6. Glue on the picture!

Letter of the Week Q !

Quinoa Q !
This isn’t the prettiest project ever but the tactile element of the quinoa was a big hit . If you are not familiar with quinoa, it’s a yummy grain that is similar to cous cous but healthier for you! We love it and it also makes a great addition to a sensory tub , it’s small, soft on little hands and not nearly as hard on your feet as lentils. You will want a broom or dust buster handy after this craft.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, markers( or crayons), glue, scissors and dry quinoa.
  2. Start by drawing a large uppercase Q on one piece of construction paper.
  3. Have your child decorate it with markers if they choose. This is a time when you can talk about the letter, making it’s sound, talking about upper vs lowercase. Or just letting your child get into coloring. My son was doing this while his dad had lunch and narrated every step to dad at the other end of the table.
  4. Cut the beautiful Q out.
  5. Glue onto the 2nd piece of paper
  6. Add more glue! We took turns , he made puddles of glue and I made a thin line.
  7. Add the quinoa – before sprinkling it on, give your child some time to play and feel it. We talked about how it is dry and not cooked yet, we don’t eat it like this. My son made the connection that it’s like rice and I had a proud mama moment.
  8. Let dry.

More Alphabet Books!

“Alphabetter” by Dan Bar-el and Graham Ross is another great alphabet book for you to check out. Each letter is represented by a child who has something that starts with the same letter as their name but doesn’t have what they want which starts with the following letter. It’s such a cute gimmick and so effective while reading that it’s not a gimmick at all! At the end of the book all the children pass the items back down the alphabet and everyone gets what they want. Awesome book for toddlers on up !


“The Alphabet From A To Y With The Bonus Letter Z” by Steve Martin was introduced to me by Rebecca when she sent it in for this post . When I saw it at the library I grabbed it and so glad I did. It’s a fun book with silly rhymes for each letter and I was surprised that my son sat all the way through it. It’s a pretty long alphabet book for a toddler. I liked the details in the illustrations even if the sometimes gross humor was not my favorite, but kids will love it !


“All Aboard : A traveling alphabet” by Bill Mayer was more fun for my husband and I than for my son but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a book of pictures, with hidden letters in them. For example the letter O is overpass with loops of road and hidden in it is an O. Some letters were easy to find some were hilariously hard. We read this to my son tonight at bedtime and while we stared at the letter H ( highway) picture debating where the h was, he fell asleep between us in his bed. This is a great alphabet book for families with children just learning and those who have mastered the alphabet. Oh and the debate was settled , we were both wrong. The final page highlights the letter in each picture in a compilation of the whole alphabet.

Totem Pole Craft

native american crafts

Just because the summer is coming doesn’t mean that learning needs to be put on pause. Learning about other cultures doesn’t mean you have to go across an ocean, there are so many cultures to explore close to home. Totem poles make me think of home because I grew up seeing them in Vancouver it wasn’t until I moved away that I fully appreciated their beauty. For information about Totem Poles click here .

1. Gather your materials. Before starting gather some pictures of totem poles, explain that totem poles were used for all different reasons, to tell legends, record history and sometimes just for art. You will need many colors of construction paper, scrap paper is great, although you will need one large piece for the wings. A piece of plain white paper, paper towel roll, glue, scissors, a marker, a paper punch, and some colorful markers. You may also want some tape to keep things in place while glue dries.

2. Start by coloring the white paper, older children can do patterns , younger ones can just go for it. Other than playing with the final product, this was the only step my little man helped me with.

3.While they color, cut out eyes, long strips for faces, noses- the sky is the limit. We cut out 3 pairs of eyes, some eyebrows a few noses and mouths.

4.Cut out some wings set aside

5. Cut small feathers from the scrap paper. Set aside.

6. When they are done coloring, wrap the white paper around the paper towel roll. Trim if needed. Set aside.

7. Start gluing on the totem animals faces, although we didn’t decide exactly what animals we were making, as we glued them on we decided on a raven, a frog and a seagull. Not sure there are many seagulls on real totem poles but that’s OK.

8. Glue the feathers on the wings.

9. Glue the wings on the pole and let dry.

 

Letter of The Week { Flag F }

letter of the week
I thought it appropriate to do something in honor of Memorial Day. This requires some prep but the added bonus of a simple patterning lesson was the best part.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 4 pieces of construction paper ( 2 whites, red and blue), scissors, glue, a star paper punch and a marker.
  2. Draw a large upper case F on your blue paper.
  3. Layer your red and one sheet of white paper with your f and cut out. You only need to cut 2/3 of the way up on the red and white. Save the rest for scrap. This is just a trick to make sure the strips fit the blue f without any trimming.
  4. Punch some stars out of the white scrap.
  5. Cut the red and white paper into stripes.
  6. Glue the F on the 2nd piece of white paper
  7. Add your glue!
  8. Start adding your stripes, when we did we chanted “Red , white, red , white…” and soon I was able to ask what next and the pattern had stuck . Obviously older children would be able to do this sans the chants!
  9. Add more glue at the top of the f.
  10. Add the stars. Let dry.

Books

“Alphabet Soup: A Feast of Letters” by Scott Gustafson is a treat! I read a lot of alphabet books and this one stands out for so many reasons. Otter is hosting a potluck and his animal friends are all bringing something to share. Each page is devoted to an animal with a coordinating food item and more. This book is reminiscent of Graham Base’s Animalia but mush more toddler friendly. Where Animalia is great for older children because it’s so full of detail, this book brings it down a notch but still enchants you with stunning illustrations and fantastic coordinating text.


“M is for Music” by Kathleen Krull is a wonderful book, however it’s style and illustrations by Stacy Innerst while funky aren’t as literal as I had hoped. This isn’t an issue for older children at all, and I really enjoyed the book but the nuanced illustrations were just too hard for a toddler to make the connections . My son still liked many of the pages especially the G is for guitar one. I would use this book for teaching about music more so than as an alphabet book teaching letters.


“A is for Zebra” by Mark Shulman is a fun and unique alphabet book. Perfect for children who have mastered letter recognition and are up for a fun challenge. The trick is that each letter is represented by the last letter of the coordinating picture . A is for zebra ! You will have fun finding the letter on each page as well as items in the adorable illustrations by Tamara Petrosino.

Abstract Art Activity

abstract art activity for kids

Kids get so hung up on drawing sometimes and this abstract art can be really liberating. It also helps learn how to color in the lines if you are working on fine motor control. I don’t know what to call this, this is what I used to do in math class, which explains why my grades were so horrible. It is really relaxing, great for a rainy day or even to keep your antsy kids busy while watching a movie or traveling! And they look really cool too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some markers and paper. Yes that’s it!
  2. Start by drawing loops and squiggles that criss cross all over your paper.
  3. Next using your colored markers fill in the closed shapes however you like.
  4. Keep going until you either fill the whole thing or just feel like it’s done!